Accelerating Cost-Effective Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Learning from Local Implementation

A new Berkeley Law report

California decision makers focused on responding to the current drought might question whether stormwater deserves a slice of their attention right now. Although it might be tempting to relegate stormwater planning, management decisions, and infrastructure improvements to a back burner until drought concerns cool off, doing so would be counterproductive. Below, I explain why stormwater management is relevant …


LA River Supreme Court opinion: narrow or broad-reaching?

As Sean posted yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its rather short opinion in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. NRDC.  Rather unsurprisingly, the Court ruled that water that flows from an improved (channelized) portion of a river to an unimproved portion of that same river cannot be considered a “discharge of pollutants” under the Clean …


Today’s Supreme Court Arguments in Los Angeles County Flood Control District

  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals got no love from either the U.S. Supreme Court or the advocates appearing before it today in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Counsel.  Nor did a previously-unheard-from government actor similarly absent from the Supreme Court chambers today. Yesterday Sean Hecht posted on the …


EPA finalizes mountaintop removal guidance

Cross-posted at CPRBlog and The Berkeley Blog. After a three-and-a-half month delay for White House review, EPA has finalized its guidance for review of mountaintop removal mining permits in Appalachia. I needn’t have worried that the White House would roll EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on this one. The final guidance maintains the strong stand EPA …


Coeur Alaska and mountaintop removal mining

As Dan noted below, yesterday the Supreme Court decided its final environmental case of the year, Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. While Coeur Alaska was not a mountaintop removal case, it does have ramifications for the argument about whether the Clean Water Act allows mountaintop removal coal mining. The central issue in Coeur …


National Cotton Council ruling stayed

In National Cotton Council v. EPA, the Sixth Circuit in January overturned an EPA rule exempting pesticides applied in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) from the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirements. On EPA’s request, the court has now stayed the effect of that ruling until April 9, 2011, giving the …


11th Circuit stirs the NPDES pot

Cross posted at CPRBlog. In a decision that shows the power of Chevron deference, Friends of the Everglades v. South Florida Water Management District, the 11th Circuit has upheld EPA’s water transfers rule, which provides that the act of moving water from one waterway to another does not require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System …


Coeur Alaska–A Shifting Legal Position by the Obama Administration?

As the U.S. Supreme Court Term winds down, only one environmental case on the Court’s docket remains undecided: Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, No. 07-984. That case, which involves the relationship between the Clean Water Act’s water pollution control (NPDES) and its wetlands dredge-and-fill programs, arises in the context of a proposed gold …